The Big Move: Advice to Incoming Students
Every year, many international students make the big move to Bulgaria.
We reached out to several AUBGers to hear more about their transition to Bulgaria and whether they’ve initially experienced a culture shock. Bulgaria offers 14 centuries of rich history and traditions, which is one of the reasons why international students decide to come to AUBG.
The Big Move series features representatives from 30 countries, who uncover some of the most interesting discoveries they made about Bulgaria. As part of our interviews, we asked current students to give advice to incoming freshmen.
Here is what they said:
Tamar Chanidze, Georgia
My advice to incoming students would be to be open to new experiences. The life in AUBG may seem a bit too dynamic and overwhelming at times but the more you challenge yourself and engage in different activities (that are outside of your comfort zone), the more you realize that it will be for your own benefit. It is also crucial to socialize and find your group of people who will be by your side in every situation. Moving away from home is a big change for students and knowing that there are people around you to help in times of need is very important.
Spencer Collins, USA
I think it is important, mainly for Americans, to get rid of their “America is the best” attitude and listen and learn how people live. Coming with an open mind and trying to understand the numerous cultures that make up the AUBG student body is important.
Valentina Ochoa, Colombia
My advice to future students would be to have fun, to enjoy the time you are in Bulgaria because you have a lifetime ahead to be serious. And to any Colombian going to AUBG: you should bring your own Juan Valdéz (coffee) because you will miss it.
Ruslan Sadretdinov, Uzbekistan
Stick to the plan you had in mind and never let partying ruin your career. Focus on your education, not partying.
Nicoleta Paladi, Moldova
The advice that I always give is to get out of your comfort zone and experience as much as you can. AUBG is special for its class sizes, the interaction you can have with incredible and inspiring professors, and of course, the amazing student life. The biggest part of my growth happened exactly this way - by joining clubs, implementing projects, working during the summers, and developing academic interests. Therefore, the biggest thing that you can regret is not getting into as many things as possible.
Valeria Amaral, Brazil
My advice for incoming international students is to keep an open mind. People are nice and there is a lot to do here. I strongly recommend international students that do not know Bulgarian or Balkan history to take classes on these to better understand where you will be living.
Kliment Stamenkov, North Macedonia
Make the best out of your time at AUBG. Try everything you want, join different student clubs, attend as many campus events, and meet as many people as you can. AUBG’s biggest treat is the community of diverse students where everyone you stumble upon is welcoming and friendly. Socialize, make new friends, and step out of your comfort zone, but of course, don’t forget about your academic responsibilities. Oh, and you can’t miss out on Underground.
Elena Anikina, Russia
Check all of your documents to apply for the Bulgarian visa and ID card. Make sure you consult with doctors and check for any illnesses at least 3 months before leaving.
Kaiden Myers, USA and China
I loved taking long walks around Blagoevgrad when I first came here. There are some student functions and events happening every week, so there’s always an opportunity to get social and meet a bunch of cool people. My best advice is to not be shy, try to come out of your shell as I did, get to know everyone, and find something you love to do. I’m 100% sure there’s a crowd for you to be your best self.
Andrey Georgiev, Bulgaria
My advice for all Freshman is to explore all that the university can offer without the “studying for a job” mindset. If you do that and try to broaden your horizons, I am certain that by the end of the first year, you will be more knowledgeable, more dynamic, and develop problem-solving skills that will allow you to not just excel professionally but also find solutions for everyday challenges. Interacting with professors is also an important part of learning, as having a conversation on a given subject will allow you to come to your own conclusion and get truly engaged with the concept.
Ayah Besaiso, Palestine
I would definitely tell them not to worry too much about their first year, they will definitely survive, take it easy, and find the good things in everything around you. For students from Palestine, I know how hard it is for us to even travel to a neighboring country, therefore, Palestine and I are proud of you for making it this far. Always represent and be outspoken and do not fear anything.